Marketing 101: The dogs have to eat the dogfood…

Some interesting data on EVs from Consumer Reports

Earlier this year, Consumer Reports surveyed over 8,000 people on the subject of EVs.

The question that drew most of the headlines asked about “purchase intent”.

Which statement below BEST describes your thoughts on buying or leasing an electric-only vehicle if you were to buy or lease a vehicle today?

The answer:

  • 14% said that they would definitely get an EV;
  • 22% would consider getting one;
  • 35% would consider “in the future, not today”;
  • 28% wouldn’t even consider getting one.


Of course, you can look at the glass as half-full or half-empty…

  • Looking only at the “top box”, 14% are hot-to-trot right now
  • Combining the top 2 categories, 36% would definitely get an EV … or at least seriously consider getting one (Note: This was CR’s headlined conclusion)
  • Combining the top 3 categories, 72% are open to the idea of getting an EV some day … i.e. they are “definite maybes”

On the flipside, looking only at the “bottom box”, 28% say that they wouldn’t even consider getting an EV, not now or in the future.

28% translates to about 65 million gas-fueled vehicles currently on the road.

I that a big number (i.e. a show stopper) or a small number (i.e. a “so what?”)?

Draw your own conclusion …


That was CR’s headline question.

What  I found more interesting was a question about EV ownership, now or ever.

The general finding: 95% have never owned or leased an EV.

No news there, since EVs are just getting started in the market.



Let’s dig a little deeper on the other 5%…

The total sample was pretty big — just over 8,000 people.

So, 400 people in the sample currently or previously owned an EV.

Of the 400, 160 currently own an EC.

That leaves 240 who previously owned an EV, but don’t currently own one.

What’s up with that?

That’s 60% of the 400 who apparently “tried” an EV but went back to a gas guzzler.


In my prior life as a marketer, I would have gotten pretty concerned if the majority of customers who “tried” my product didn’t repurchase it … or worse, chucked it after buying it.

In marketing parlance it’s called “buyer’s remorse”.

In plain English, it’s a sign that the dogs aren’t eating the dog food.

Think about it.


Tech Talk

P.S. Yeah, I know that 400 is a small sample and that EVs are continually improving, so today’s (and tomorrow’s) EVs are better than yesterday’s.

I still think it’s a red flag.

While on the subject …

“Purchase intent” surveys tend to be biased high.

If people aren’t really shelling out any buckos, they’re more likely to say that they’ll buy something … especially if the price of the product isn’t included in the question.

So, the purchase intent results reported above are very likely overstated.

2 Responses to “Marketing 101: The dogs have to eat the dogfood…”

  1. Wichita Genealogist Says:

    Considering the price of getting a new battery is around $30,000 plus the fact that many EV chargers are not supposed to be used when peak demand is occurring. I did a post where an EV owner decided to blow up the vehicle than spend $30,000 to get a new battery.

  2. Brian Herring Says:

    Professor Homa, my 13 year old is interested in Psychology (no jokes please :) ) and we discussed Monday how there is a lot of psychology in Marketing. As an example I told her about the ATR framework and how the numbers for each step impact marketing decisions. So please know some of your wisdom is flowing into areas in which you aren’t aware.

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